Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bare Off Broadway

The show we saw was Bare. Here’s the basic story line:

Set at a co-ed Catholic boarding school, Bare tells the story of Peter, an awkward outcast who is having a secret affair with Jason, one of the most popular guys in school. While Peter is dying to make the relationship public, Jason is too concerned about his reputation. When Jason is propositioned by Ivy, a new student with a troubled past, he tries to ignore her advances. But as a series of slip-ups causes his classmates to get suspicious, Jason convinces himself to sleep with Ivy. As the impassioned love triangle spirals out of control, Jason is forced to face who he really is—even if his parents, classmates and teachers refuse to accept him.

We both really enjoyed the show. The two main characters were very good. And the jock character, Jason played by the way by Jason Hite, was a particular stand out. As his world started to fall apart you not only got that from the tone of his voice but from his body language as well. He couldn’t keep still which added to the sense of his inability to handle what was happening to him.

Not the happiest of endings but a very good show. Glad we saw it because it is closing this Sunday. Here are a couple of clips from the show.

And a few pictures of the cast.

Jason Hite who plays Jason

Jason Hite signing for Christian.

This is Elizabeth Judd who plays Ivy.

This is Alex Wyse who plays Alan.

I also read the bio on Jason Hite and it talked about a band he’s in called 5J Barrow. I went to the site and liked the songs. So I downloaded it. You can sample their music by following this link.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Kalb Report — Democracy in Action: A Review of the 2012 Presidential Debates

What an amazing night. All of the moderators for the debates: Jim Lehrer, Martha Raddatz, Bob Schieffer and Candy Crowley. Unfortunately Crowley had a family emergency and could not attend.

It was interesting to get the perspective of each of the moderators. Lehrer had done the most debates at 12. Schieffer has done three (he said he would probably not do another one; time to choose someone else). This was Raddatz first. All of them said this was the time for the candidates to speak. It was the candidates responsibility to call into questions their opponents answers.

Raddatz talked about how she really hadn’t followed the campaign and had to cram to get ready for the debate. She said when she was asked to moderate it felt either like winning the lottery or having a terminal disease. She also said it was like taking the LSATs in front of 60 million people.

Schieffer said he didn’t want to cover any of the other debates so as not to have that influence how he moderated the one he did. He also said there was funny tweet asking who he was. One saying isn’t that one of the old guys from the Muppets. Schieffer also thought that the first debate should be right after the last convention. This might help to have the campaign take on a higher tone. He thought the candidates should be seated for the debate. He also added he wasn’t a huge fan of the town hall style debate. Lehrer agreed with that.

Here are a few other things that were said by each of them.

From Martha Raddatz:

Candidates come in with a set idea of what the debate will be like. It takes them a while to adjust to how the debate is really going.

The gothcha question really isn’t appropriate for a debate.

The GOP wanted Ryan to be called Mr. Ryan instead of Congressman. Raddatz didn’t do that.

And this funny statement scrutiny thy name is twitter

From Jim Lehrer:

Not about the questions but what is said. It helps to bring context to what the candidates say.

He only looked at the candidate that was talking so never saw what the other one was doing.

Debates are the only time the candidates are on one stage at the same time talking about the same topic.

He wanted to see 6 debates with each debate being on a single subject.

From Bob Schieffer:

The debates seem to be the only time both sides watch at the same time. They watch to see their candidate but also here what the other one has to say.

He thought Romney played it safe in the last debate because he thought he was ahead in the polls. The reason he didn’t take it to Obama on issues like Benghazi.

They all agreed that the debates were good for the country. And as said early thought there should be more of them and they should be earlier in the final campaign cycle.

It was a really interesting and informative evening.

A Little from NYC and DC

I have a few more posts to go with my trip to NYC. I need to talk a little more about the musical Bare.

But I also had a really interesting event that I went to on Monday night. Yes the night I got back. I went to the Kalb report where they had the moderators for the debates from last year. I would have posted last night but I did a podcast with Arthur which should be posted soon. So I've been a busy boy lately.

I hope to play catch up today and tomorrow.

But I'll leave with this picture.

There's a new trend in and around Times Square. People dress up in characters and run around trying to have to take there pictures. When you do the characters then ask for a donation. There are all sorts of characters: Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, Cookie Monster, Woodie, Hello Kitty and then of course there are the Disney characters. There are more than a few Minnies and Mickey Mouses (or should that be mice).

Anyway toward the end of the trip as we were making our way back to the bus we saw this Mickey. I  wish the picture was just a little clearer.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Toys R Us in Times Square

Toys R Us has this huge mega store in Times Square. One of the nice things about it is that it is open late on Sundays. After the Winter Burlesque show it was nice to find a warm place to spend some time. We went into the Disney store but weren't all that impressed with it.

But Toys R Us. Wow. Here's a little from their web site about the Times Square store:

Since its grand opening in November 2001, Toys“R”Us® Times Square has occupied a special position in the heart of New York City as one of the Big Apple’s top tourist attractions, welcoming hundreds of thousands of kids each year. The company’s international flagship store – aptly known as The World’s Greatest Toy Store® – boasts an astounding 110,000 square feet filled with everything from toys to trains to videogames and offers unique product displays, convenient guest services and exciting features and attractions.

The Lego stuff was damn cool.

Toys R Us, Part II

More from this amazing mega store right on Times Square.

Lillie's in Times Square

We had dinner at this wonderful place not very from where we saw the show.

Had a fantastic cheese burger.

To learn a little more about the bar follow this link.

A look at the ceiling from where we were sitting.

The main bar.

A clock by our table

Some of the bottles of wine behind the bar

Pictures From New York

Here are a couple posts of pictures that I took in New York.

I'm winding down from the trip but will have more about it later today.

Saw a really great musical called Bare. Very impressed with it. The friend I went up with picked it out. We both enjoyed it. And also very glad we saw it because, unfortunately, it closes next week.

The pizza pie from John's Pizza. Really great.

The above are of Times Square at night. I just love it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Having Lunch at John's Pizza

Got to New York just fine. In fact we got in early.

Having lunch at the fantastic John's Pizza part of which is an old church.

Can't wait for the pie to arrive.

On the Way to New York City

Off to New York for the day. Much better weather than last time you can actually see things out the bus window. No fog this time. It's bright and sunny. The temperature is supposed to be on the low 30s.

Looking forward to a wonderful trip. Just about an hour to go and we're there.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Heavely Jade of the Maya

Right down the street from where I work is Inter-American Development Bank. In its building is a Gallery. I've walked passed it dozen of times and never gone in. The other day while heading home I decided to take a peek.

What a neat place. It's only a few rooms but the exhibit was fantastic.

The exhibit is:

Heavenly Jade of the Maya

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Cultural Center and the Country Department for Belize, Central America, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, will host the exhibit entitled “Heavenly Jade of the Maya” comprising rare jade jewelry and objects from recent archaeological discoveries.  The exhibit will commemorate the ending of the Maya calendar cycle (December 21, 2012) known as bak´tun, and the beginning of a new era. The Mesoamerican civilization studied the movement of the stars for centuries, and constructed a conceptual foundation to explain the relation of the individual and the cosmos. The exhibit displays the creative wealth worn by powerful nobles to keep their rituals and beliefs alive, since the Maya considered jade more precious than gold.
The contents of the exhibition are from the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Guatemala City. Part of the exhibition project includes financing a technical cooperation to train three Guatemalans in jade conservation in a newly installed laboratory facility at the museum.

I only took a brief look but want to go back and take my time seeing the wonderful things in it. This will give you an idea of what's there.

Funerary mask from tomb 196, Tikal. Mosaic of carved jade and Spondylus shell pieces. ca. 700 CE. This treasure from Tikal never leaves Guatemala. It is the head of the avian Sun god, made of jade mosaic pieces, and would have been worn by a king in full ceremonial dress. National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Guatemala. Image courtesy of Jesús López.

The gallery is at 1300 New York Avenue in DC. If you have a chance stop by for a look or go to their website and see all the other exhibits they are participating in. A very cool find.

More of Yesterday's Snow

I was going to post these last night but didn't get around to it. So here they are. As you can tell we didn't really get all that much snow. By the time I was heading off to work the sun was coming up.

This afternoon we're supposed to be getting more snow. It sounds like it might actually accumulate more than yesterday. But it should be gone by Sunday and that's very good because I head up to New York City that day. Looking forward to that.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The First Snow of the Year

Not all that much in DC itself. It looks like it was a little more of an event out in the burbs.

Thankfully I have eggs, bread and toilet paper so I should be able to ride the storm out.

Here are a couple of pictures from my bedroom window of our "snow."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Even Colder Today so We Need Another Smile

Hard to believe it could be even colder than it was yesterday but it is. In fact this is the coldest weather DC has had this winter. Makes me shiver just thinking about it. And I have to go out into it to get to work very soon.

Once again I'll turn to Peanuts and get a warm smile which I hope will spread to the rest of my body.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Tuesday Smile

The cold weather held off for the inauguration but is now here in full force.

So I thought a Peanuts strip, the continuation of Sally going to kindergarten, would help warm the heart at least if not the toes and feet.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sometimes We Do Things so Very Well

I just finished watching the inaugural.


Yes, I'm very pleased that my candidate won.

But I'm very proud of the way every four years my country passes power. This show just how great and amazing the United States really is.

Sometimes we really do things so very well. And all of us should be very proud of it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Funny Peanuts Series

Here is part of an incredibly funny Peanuts series. I was going to post it last fall but never got around to it. Here's the first part of it.

Staying in for the Inauguration

I decided last week that I wasn't going to go to the inauguration this year. Then I picked up the bug that everyone in the office was passing around and that more less decided for me.

It is also going to be another cold one. I just decided to stay in watch on my couch with Linus and Charlie. After all it will be there first inaugural and they might need someone to explain it to them. It also means I can sleep late, keep warm and eat when I want to. Also finding a bathroom won't be all that much of a problem either. Also next Sunday I'm going to New York so I want to be all well and rested up for that trip.

This time around there won't be as many people. This is line with most other second inaugurals. There are always fewer people. I was at a party last week and several of the people I talked to who'd gone last time were going to stay home this time. It still sounds like the crowds will be huge but most likely about half of what they were last time.

There is also fewer vendors out selling things. In fact I saw very few on the street this week selling buttons and t-shirts and other inaugural items. The picture below shows what four years ago was like.

There was an inaugural store not far from office. I went down to take a look at around lunch time on Friday. It was busy but I thought there would be a line out the door.

I guess the excitement and expectations are down from where they were four years ago. But then again it would be hard to match that level of optimism and hope. A great deal has happened in those four years. Obama has accomplished many things. And many things he tried to do have been blocked by the Republicans simply because they were things Obama proposed.

More on that in another post.